Author Archives: Bianca Hart

On The Road To Recovery

You really take for granted the simple things in life like going to the bathroom or getting out of bed until you can’t do them as you once could, but I’ll get to that later.

This post will contain a lot of medical lingo and stuff, so if that isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to speed read through those parts.

I actually got some sleep on Monday, which is shocking because I had a heard time keeping it together when I left for work. Everything was coming together. I was really going into the hospital for surgery. I really was going to be out of work for a month or more. Shit was going down.

Tuesday… S-Day. I remember a lot clearly. I remember finally getting everything together heading out the door for the ride to my parents. What is the one thing you don’t want to drive behind when you are about to go the hospital? A hearst. Yup, this actually happened to me. It wasn’t for the entire drive, but long enough to make me frazzled.

I remember the ride to the hospital. Getting checked in. The hurry up and wait. The lovely hospital gown, socks and compression cuffs. I remember the IV. This was what I was most afraid of. My nurse made me laugh and I remember the I sweet relief when she said it was in. One stick! I remember people asking my about my high blood pressure, my EKG, which showed a minor blip. Nothing major, but something that needs to be checked on. I remember seeing my doctor, kissing my mom and being wheeled of to the OR. I remember the brightness of the hallway and t that his is not a time to go towards the light, but that seemed to be all that was in front on me. Bright lights and windows.

I remember sliding onto the table, the nurse telling me they were going to give me the good stuff, my arm being placed on an arm rest, the sound of velcro and off to dream land I went.

When I woke up, 3 hours later, I was in the recovery room. There were so many people and sounds. I just wanted to see. I didn’t have my glasses so everything was blurry. The nurse brought my mom back and as she dug around her bag, I croaked out “Really”. At that point I knew I was going to be ok. I remember the first time my hand grazed my incision (small it is not). Finally my room was ready and it was time to move to my bed. Slowly but surely, I slid over and was wheeled off to my accomodations. I remember the sexy radio voice that I had, taking to my family and friends. I remember every two hours, people were coming in taking my vitals and emptying my folio (I had a catheter). I would does off and wake up 20 minutes later, I couldn’t stay awake.

I remember the worst night sleep of my life, being woken up by a couple of residents coming in at 5:30am to check my incision, ask if I had passed gas or gone to the bathroom, and regal me of ways to lower my blood pressure. I remember the lovely nurse removing my catheter, and my first experience with Room Service. Seriously, you call in your order and your hostess brings it up to your room. Ingenious. I remember the first time I got out of bed. Talk about an experience. I must say, I never realized how easy it was to get out of bed until it took me all of my energy and then some just to sit on the edge of the bed. The first few steps were not as bad as I thought. I was shaky at first but was soon hobbling my way to the bathroom. Who knew the ability to use the bathroom would be a relief to not only the nurses, but myself as well.

I remember feeling better with each passing moment. Realizing that the human body is amazing. I remember the first time I spoke with my doctor about the surgery, How she told me that my blood pressure spiked for no clear reason. How 5 fibroids were removed. Apparently Frankie had friends living with him that were not on the lease. I remember the shock when she told me that I had lost a liter of blood and Frankie was the size of a baby’s head. I remember her telling me that I can still have kids (my mother was relived to hear that I’m sure), but I would have to have a C Section (Fine by me). I remember my first laps around the nurse’s station. How walking really does get things moving and the second feeling of relief when I passed gas (yeah TMI I know)

I remember Friday morning when my doctor told me that I could home, how I swiftly (not  really) got dressed, packed my bag and waited for the nurse to come with my discharge papers. I remember the joy when the nurse finally removed my IV. I remember how weird it felt to leave in a wheelchair, the first time the air hit my face when I exited the hospital. I remember how happy I was to kiss and hug my puppy and finally have some peace and quiet.

I remember the RNs, PCTs, Doctors, and hospital staff who took such great care of me.

So here I am, almost a week post surgery, and I feel great. I don’t walk too hunched over anymore and getting out of the bed is getting easier every morning. And I actually feel like putting pants on today. Sweatpants. I do get tired easily, but I just have to remember to take it slow.

One day at a time.

Later Days.
B

What I know For Sure…..

 

In my Oprah voice… What I know for sure, having a sarcastic sense of humor
is definitely helping my come to grips with the fact that in a few hours, I
will be splayed out on the operating table.

What I also know for sure, don’t eat a lot of salt and not drink water
before going in for pre-admission testing, but more on that later.

Last Monday was pre-opp day, or “sign your life away day”. I
spent the better part of my afternoon signing consent forms, vitals and blood
taken, and playing an awesome game of hurry up and wait.

First stop, my GYN. We went over the surgery, how Frankie and his lovely
companions will be removed. Blah, blah, blah, and finally then questions came.
How long will it take? Will I need stitches removed? How long will I be out of
work for? For the first time ever, I didn’t have to get dressed after we were
done. A quick elevator ride and it was off to Pre-Admission testing, the last
stopper before my surgery next week. After waiting for what seemed like
forever, I was finally called back to the desk. I was asked to verify
information, give names of people who will be able to call the Nurse’s station
and sign more forms. Then off to the exam room. My blood pressure was taken yet
again and it was still high. The nurse asked me if I was anxious. And with a
smile and twinkle in my eyes I said, ” Why yes, I am in a hospital talking
about surgery.” Her reply, ” You are going home today. There is
nothing to worry about”. Can someone please tell me if anyone has normal
blood pressure when they go to the doctor? Mine is always high and the doctors
and nurses look at me like I am about to explode. I do not have high blood
pressure, just serious aversion to doctor’s offices and hospitals.
Anyway, it was only after my appointment that I realized that I had grits,
with a lot of salt, coffee, and orange juice or breakfast, which along with my
anxiety, could have caused my pressure to go through the roof. Note to self…
don’t ever do that again.

Anyway, while going over reservation form (yes, they call surgery a
reservation. Who knew), Nola, the wonderful Nurse Practitioner noticed a
discrepancy in my form. Here is a piece of the conversation:

Nola: What procedure are you having done?

Me: Exploratory, open myomectomy

Nola: You are not having an ovary removed?

Me: Excuse me? No I am not.

Nola: It says right here but not which one

Me: I am not having an ovary removed

Nola: Let me call your doctor’s office to confirm….

Let’s just say that didn’t help my blood pressure go down. After an EKG,
another blood pressure check, and “day of” instructions, it was time
to have my blood taken. Zakia was amazing and we laughed about the number of
vials that she was going to take. She said that she was not going to drain me
and she would leave me enough to drive home. After a pleasant, as much as a
blood draw can be pleasant, she wrapped my arm in a stylish ace bandage instead
of that God-awful white tape. I felt pretty fancy.

Then
there was the conversation that I was waiting for. My chit chat with the
anesthesiologist. He is not going to be my doctor on game day, just the one
that was on call during my appointment. He explained to me the entire “general
anesthesia” process, which is pretty intriguing:

 

Doc:
When you come in, we will put monitors on you to check your heart, a clip on
you to measure the oxygen in the blood. Then we will put an IV in your hand,
and give you Propofol

Me:
Wait… isn’t that what they gave Michael Jackson?

Doc: Yes,
but luckily for you, Dr. Murray won’t be in the room. Propofol has been used in
general anesthesia for years and you must be monitored and watched. I don’t
have a clue what he was thinking.

Me:
Great

Doc:
Because you will be asleep, we will put a breathing tube in your throat.

Me: I’ll
be asleep when they put the tube in?

Doc:
Yes. You will be asleep when we put the tube in and take it out. You breathe in
a mixture of oxygen and anesthesia which will keep you asleep during the
procedure. Once the doctor says that she’s finished, we remove the tube, and
your body naturally starts to wake up. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Me: I
didn’t realize that you wake up so quickly.

Doc:
Yes. Some people wake up in the operating room. Some wake up in the hallway.
Some people wake up in the recovery room. That about covers everything so if
that sounds like a plan, please sign here.

Me: I
guess I better sign since I don’t want you cutting me while I’m awake.

After
one more signature, Frankie’s fate was sealed.

In a few hours, Frankie will be served with his papers…. And I will be on the
road to recovery.

 

Frankie’s Being Evicted

You know that moment when you know you have made the right decision, all the parts are in place, everything is order, but you still feel like Alice when she goes thrown down the rabbit hole?

Frankie in his natural habitat

That is me, right now. At first I thought that my expanding tummy pooch was due the fact that I had fallen off the wagon with my clean eating and workout habits, but when I started to feel pressure in my stomach and my clothes no longer fit, I knew that Frankie was getting his revenge. It takes a lot for me to willingly schedule a doctor’s appointment and even more for my to call the “girly doctor” on my lunch break. I had a week before my appointment to wrap my head around the possibility that my doctor would tell me that I needed surgery. If you have weak constitutions, please for the Love of Pancakes and Chocolate Chip cookies do not google the terms, Fibroid removal and/or myomectomy. If you do, please don’t search images. You have been warned and I do not take any responsibility for your reaction.

I must admit, at the beginning of the appointment, my doctor was leaning towards renewing Frankie’s lease. But after being ultrasounded every way possible and examined, it was abundantly clear that Frankie was getting his eviction notice. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I had done enough reading and video watching to know what I was in for. What I was not prepared for was my doctor informing me that there is chance I need vertical incision. Yeah, Frankie #1 and #2 (seems that one of my other fibroids decided to have a growth spurt as well) are so big and I am so small, that I need to sliced open.  And I just got a cute new Fendi bikini. There is a chance that this will change when I am splayed out on the operating table, but for right now, one piece swim suits and a Scar Away are in my future.

 

Damn you Frankie

Honestly, the hardest part of this entire process has not been telling people. That truly has been a piece of cake. My family and “circle of trust” have been absolutely amazing. I don’t know what I would do without them. Getting the phone calls, letters, and emails from the hospital have been the worst.It makes everything so real, like “yup, you are going to be under anesthesia, sliced open, crap removed from your uterus, stitched up like Frankenstein and sent on my merry way to spend Thanksgiving convalescing at my parent’s house. While I know that this is a necessary procedure which will improve my quality of life and chances of having kids one day in the very not so distant future. I just want to get everything over and done with. Just yank the bandaid off already and be done with it.

Another thing I am not looking forward to… 4-6 weeks of recovery. The most I have not worked out has been a week, but even then, I would walk at lunch and to and from the train station. What is a girl to do? I guess I can catch up on my knitting, reading, and Netflix binging. Bring it on!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end. Pre-Opp appointment with my doctor and pre-admission testing at the hospital, then one last weekend hoorah before the big slice and dice. Until then, it’s all happy thoughts of unicorns, rainbows, glitter, pixie dust, and blue skies up until S-Day (surgery day) and beyond. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all in the loop about my surgery and recovery!

Later Days
B

#singlegirlproblems

I attend a bi-weekly happy hour of politically minded people in Philadelphia during the summer. It’s a chance to catch up with friends, meet new people, and unwind after a crazy day of work, and raise money for a charitable organization. It is also the perfect place, if you’re me, to watch the social interactions to figure out why you’re still single.

This happy hour is a melting pot of young, old, professional, and not really professional people coming out for a common cause. You have your core group (me included) that come out to each event and others who come and go. There is no guessing what the room will look like.You would think that I would be able to talk to someone right? I did last week, but not before this lovely interaction that I have titled…The Old Men and The Preschoolers. Please enjoy…

I arrived the happy hour early, but I do so for logistical purposes. I get one drink and an appetizer in before the crowd attacks the bar and it takes forever to get served. This also gives my time to secure a prime observation point (table) for my group to survey the area. I noticed 3 attractive men had sat down at the table right next to me. “Jackpot!!” I think to myself. “Today is the day that my faith in  Cupid’s golden arrow is restored.” Let’s just say that chubby cherub has not made his way back on my Christmas card list.

These three men chatted among themselves, not even giving me a second look. I was about to be bold and strike up a conversation when three “women”(they were ridiculously young) approached their table and were immediately invited to join the conversation. WTF times infinity?!? Was I that horrid looking or was I just above their age range. Now I am all Jane Goodall Gorillas in the Mist intrigued about the sight beside me. I was slightly hurt by their objection until one of the gentleman came back with a blue drink. Yes, it was blue. Like bright ass blue. I have not had anything blue to drink since I shared a fish bowl with someone at Ice Night Club. I silently thanked them for not paying attention to me and continued my scientific observation. Yet, I was jealous when the same mane brought a round of drinks for the wee lasses. Call it instinct.

The older man was trying to have a collegiate conversation with a toddler while sipping a spiked juice box. Is this what I have to compete with? My ovaries just shriveled up. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about freezing my eggs. I know how what bra to wear with a strapless dress! Yes ladies, hold up the girls! But I digress. Seriously do have to start dating older because men my age are scoping potential life partners at the playground?

Does my resting bitch face serve as a fortress for any potential suitors? I know, everything is written on my face. Trust me. If you think someone said something funky, just look at my face. You’ll know right away. If anyone knows a cure for RBF, please let me know! Thanks in advance.

As soon as ALL of my faith in humanity was almost flushed down the toilet of life, an acquaintance and I started chatting, and full disclosure, the talking turned into flirting. And it was fun!!! And here’s the kicker…. he’s younger than me!

Hey, if those three guys can talk to younger women, hell, I’m going to talk to a younger man.

BOOM!

Later Days
B

3 Day Refresh – The Final Verdict

And there we have it folks! The 3 Day Refresh is in the books. I must say that my timing was good and not so good. Good that I finished right before my vacation. Why not so good? I had my last shake on the bus to NYC to start my vacation. Needless to say… I have no final weight. Whoops.

Besides weight lost, what has the 3-Day Refresh done for me? I has completely cut my carb and sweet craving. I can eat fruits and veggies all day every day and that is fine by me. I don’t even want to look at at piece of bread! And coming from me, that is saying a lot.
So who needs the 3-Day Refresh? Anyone who is looking to loose some weight quickly and in a healthy way. Anyone looking to get their digestion moving in the right direction (sorry had to go there). And anyone who wants to shake loose those pesky carb and/or sweet cravings, this is the program for you!

I did feel hungry at times, but not like I was about to past out like most cleanses. I think all of the liquid helped! And I’ not complaining. I have never felt this healthy, nutritionally in my life and I am going into vacation with the intention of not messing it up! The program is completely planned so it takes all (and I mean ALL) of the guess work out of what to eat, what to drink, and when. I loved this program and the results! Just take a look!

Yes that’s me and it took just three days of sticking to the plan.

Wanna know more about the 3 Day Refresh or get one for yourself? You can email me at bshart@gmail.com or like my Facebook fan page, Bianca – Just Bee You Fitness.
Now for some sun in the fun! Here’s to rum punch and fish cutter sandwiches. Everything in moderation folks.
Later Days
B

Refresh Day 2

Another Refresh Day in the books! Day 2 went a lot smoother than the first, but that is to be expected. There was one minor set back, but we will get to that later.

I must say drinking a glass of water in the morning certainly revs up the metabolism. I would wait until I was just about to leave for work to drink. Not anymore… out of bed, feed the dog, drink water!

And since we are on the topic of liquids. One pressing question might be,”how does this stuff taste?” A good question indeed. I still had my Strawberry Shakeology in the morning with either blueberries or pineapples. It tastes like a ray of tropical sunshine. Seriously it is so good, it is hard to believe that it is vegan! And the Vanilla Refresh that you drink at lunch and dinner? I swear it tastes like birthday cake! It is a little too sweet for me since I am not a sweets person anymore. You could tone it down mixing in some fruit in a blender, but since I don’t have a blender at work…. Straight up it is!

Fiber Sweep does exactly what you think it does so there is no need to go into further detail. There is a trick . You have to drink it fast or else!!! Seriously, there is no sipping the sweep! Trust me on this one. Since it is made up of soluble and insoluble fiber it is a bit pulpy. If you don’t think about it, you won’t notice it. It also has a lemony (is that a word) flavor which is very refreshing. It’s a small amount, so 5-6 big gulps and it’s done.

Almost forgot about my minor set back. I was so excited for my lunch of grapes, carrots, and Vanilla Fresh that I almost had a heart attack. I forgot my grapes at home!! Dude, that 3/4 cup of grapes was a third of my lunch!! Without those grapes… I might starve! I made a audible gasp and starting talking out loud about my horrible situation. But luckily Trader Joe’s came to the rescue. I waited in line for 5 minutes for 1 apple. That’s right. No popcorn, no chips. Just one lone apple that would save me from starvation, and it did. Talk about having a plan and sticking to it!

I was so busy dropping my mom’s dog off at the sitter and packing for vacation that I only had time to have a Vanilla refresh for dinner. It got the job done!

In my Les Mis voice… ONE DAY MORE!!!

Later Days
B

Refresh Day 1

Day 1 is in the books and I survived! It was a lot easier than I thought, even though I felt like I was smelling pizza and fries everywhere. Maybe that’s part of the detox process or just my detox process.

I will admit, I did feel a wee bit hungry between lunch and dinner. I already drank my water for the day (1 whole gallon) so I chewed on some gum for a little bit. That did the trick.
Let’s get one thing straight… there is no way to get dehydrated on the cleanse. You are drinking so much fluid. 8 oz of water in the morning, 8 oz of water with the fiber drink, 20 oz water for both meal shakes, on top of your daily water intake. I need to count how many calories I burn walking back and forth from the bathroom. LOL.
Unlike some cleanses, like Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset, which I am dying to try, you can workout. So T25 Cardio went down. Hop squats are not my jam… Cleanse and workout at the same time? Yes, please.
And…  I am eating, just in smaller portions and no meat, carbs, or dairy! No liquid cleanse here. Cucumber Tomato salad is the best thing ever!!!!  Or maybe the best think last night since it was the most solid food I had all day.
So there you have it. My Day 1 3-Day Refresh recap.
Short, sweet, and straight to the point!
Just like me!
Later Days.
B

Time for a Refresh

I must say, this summer I have had impeccable timing when it comes to vacations. Somehow, the Universe has aligned so that I have had back-to-back vacations. And this week is no different. I just got back with from a wonderful weekend in Winchester, VA filled with laughter, wine, bread, pizza, beer, grits, and Steak and Shake. It was a wonderful time. However, thanks carb overload, I’m not looking swim suit ready. I leave Thursday morning which does not give me a lot of time to tighten up the ship.

Enter the 3-Day Refresh…

3 days of shakes, fruits, veggie, Fiber Sweep (digestive drink), working out, and drinking lots of water. Sounds doable right! I’ll also be doing casto

You’re in luck! For the next three days, I’ll be blogging about my experience and share with you the final results.

First up, the before stats:

Weight: 150.4 lbs and flufftacular

Day 1 Menu:

Breakfast: Vegan Strawberry Shakeology with blueberries
Mid Morning Tea: Yerba Mate Tea
Fiber Sweep (digestive drink)

Lunch: Vanilla Refresh, baby carrots, a peach, and almond butter
Mid Afternoon Tea: Yerba Mate

Dinner: Vanilla Refresh, Cucumber Tomato Salad
Dinner Tea: Camomile or Sleepy Time tea (I can’t make up my mind)

Seems simple enough right? The trick for me.. NO SNACKING! Gotta stick to this plan!

So here goes nothing!!

Check back tomorrow and see how Day 1 went!

Later Days!
B

#singlegirlproblems

You know you are of a certain age when you have at least one summer/fall wedding to attend each year. This year is no different. I was so excited to get my invitation. I seriously I ran up to my apartment and carefully opened the invitation, with scissors so that I wouldn’t rip the envelope. I guess this attention to detail shows how much I don’t go out.

I made sure that I remembered to take the RSVP card with me so I could drop it off at the post office before work. I marked X by vegetarian before reading, “indicate the number of entrees.” My heart sank. I had just muffed up this pristine card with my black X. But wait, no I didn’t! I am the only one going. Crisis averted. Strike that…. yet another wedding that I will be attending solo. Bring out the booze.
All it takes is one little piece of paper to make you realize exactly how single you are. Like solo, single. Probably will be at the singles table single. Nope, you will be at a table full of couples and two  other single people single. Let’s find a beach house that has enough rooms that the two single people don’t have to share a room single. Single. Single. Single.

While I could right the next great American novel about the trials and tribulations of being single at a wedding, that would get me kicked off the happiness bandwagon. No good things comes to those who dwell in the negative. Well, maybe this kick ass blog, but that is besides the point.So here’s to another #singlegirladventure where there will be an open bar, and none of the single men in attendance will be interested in me.

Cheers!

Later Days,
B

#singlegirlproblems

Last week after taking myself out to dinner as a reward for
scoring an amazing deal on a Fendi bikini, I was waiting at the train station
for my ride on SEPTA. Sitting on the bench in front of me was a couple,
obviously smitten because they were all over each other. Like serious PDA.
Kissing, snuggling, hands down shirts, the whole deal.
Am I the only one who is completely annoyed with PDA? I mean
really. Do you really have to suck face in public for the whole entire world to
see? Do you think that people want to see you make out in the middle of Jefferson
Station? Relief washed over my body as my train approached; however, I did note
that the women of the pair was on my train, alone. Thank goodness. I do not
think that I could manage another 30 minutes subjected to round 2 of their middle
school make out session.
There are a couple ways that we could explain my visceral
reaction to what I saw. 1.) I am a total prude who believes all romantic
actions that may or may not be classified as foreplay should be kept in the
confines of a bedroom, hotel room, motel room, closet, and or any room with a
door that closes or 2.) I am completely jealous of what they have. I am going
to go with 1 and 2. When it comes to PDA, I can’t stand it. I am that old
church lady who is thinking, “Don’t they know any better? They need to get a
room.” Aren’t you uncomfortable that people are watching what you are doing
right now? I get uncomfortable eating crunchy food at work because it may annoy
people. On the other hand, I am completely jealous that I don’t have someone to
kiss me passionately in a public place and not care who is watching. We all
want what we don’t have right. We all want that romantic movie scene to be
real. For some rugged handsome man to see us from across the room, run towards
us, sweep us of our feet and away to our happily ever after. Single girls can
dream, right?
PDA is not for everyone, me included. But hey do what you
want to do. Just realize there may be a woman going through the #singlegirlstruggle
watching you wondering where the nearest hose is.
Later Days

 

B